Thanks Dad!

by Arlyn on June 16, 2008

It was sometime in the ’80s, one of those really bright, clear SoCal days and my Dad and I were at the Schwinn store in downtown Orange. He was helping me get my first road bike, a Miyata Six-Ten, very similar to this one.

Note the panniers – this was a sturdy touring bike, designed to go long distances and be ridden in all kinds of weather. I imagined myself cycling across the country, with everything I needed on my bike. It was a triple and had 18 gears. The quote from the salesperson was, “This thing could climb trees if you had the traction.”

I loved that bike. I rode my Miyata up Chapman hill, which was the longest and steepest hill in the City of Orange.  I rode into the “back country”, past Irvine Lake, out past the old landfill into Santiago Canyon.  One time I went so far that I came out on the Irvine side and figured my way back home.  I rode down the Santa Ana riverbed to the ocean in Newport Beach and back.  I rode all the way to San Diego once, on a three-day ride with a church group.

I wore spandex bike shorts, wore t-shirts and had a pair of special cycling shoes, although they were not clipless.  I carried bananas in my pocket as a snack, even though I don’t really like bananas, because that’s what Greg LeMond seemed to do.  I wanted (but never had the guts) to wear a Campagnolo hat, with the bill turned up like a bike racer.  My helmet was hard-shell and occasionally saved me from smacking my head.

At some point, I stopped riding my bike.  Probably when I left home for the Army, as I was ready to move on to bigger adventures.  The Miyata my Dad found for me had served it’s purpose.  Lots of adventures and lots of growing up.  Probably just what my Dad had in mind when he got it for me.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

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